Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Omigosh - Banville Won!


John Banville's The Sea won the Booker.
Am I surprised? Nope because the book is excellent. Because I feel Banville moves the novel into new territory - (as I said in an earlier post, can't think of another writer who has captured memory as beautifully as this writer).

So yes, I'm happy with the decision.

And for most readers, I don't think the book is as enjoyable a read as others on the list. It's beautifully written sure - but slow and meandering and melancholy.

According to The Financial Times chairman of the panel, John Sutherland:
... commented on the judges’ debate with the usual politesses – “civilised argument”, “closely contested” etc – but paid eloquent tribute to the winner’s “masterly” and “virtuoso” writing. The Sea is an elegy of grief and love remembered: Sutherland dramatically referred to it as a “slit-your-throat” novel, but its prevailing mood is melancholy.
This is the way the voting went in the People's Booker:
498 for Kazuo Ishiguro
430 for Julian Barnes
240 for Zadie Smith
198 for Ali Smith
181 for John Banville
132 for Sebastian Barry
If you're the kind of reader who values good storytelling above style - go for the Barnes or the Ishiguro or Zadie Smith because you will enjoy yourself much more.

Postscript:

If you can bear any more about Banville, nice piece from the Guardian . Apparently Banville is a very difficult guy to live with when he's writing. His demeanor is compared to that of "a murderer who's just come back from a particularly bloody killing".

9 comments:

Yvonne Foong said...

Ah... these writers are so unknown to me. I must have been living in caves. So, are you surprised or are you not, with the judges decision?

Hari said...

Not surprised but would have liked Julian Barnes to win.

Fiona1 said...

Though I voted for Ishiguro online, I'd think Julian Barnes would be my second vote. The Sea sounds like sad read...

bibliobibuli said...

Yvonne - no not really surprised ... but agree with hari kingston that i'd have liked barnes to win.

You haven't been living in caves at all ... the books have not been out long and the compulsion to get in there and read them immediately is one of the sadder forms of literary addiction. I really don't know if you'd like the winner. If you want read any of them, try the ishiguro which is easy going, not too long and thought provoking (about cloning).

fiona - if you want to borrow it you can, you know ...

Sharanya said...

Sounds like the kind of book I'd really love...

Any chance I could join the queue to borrow, to?

bibliobibuli said...

sharanya - yes of course ... i lend my books happily (because they get such pleasure from being read and admired) so long as they find their way home within a week or two ...

Sharanya said...

Thanks Sharon! :)

To avoid loss or dog-ears on transit or in the other turmoils of Chennai, I'll borrow when I get back from my trip? Am headed there month's end and back about three weeks into Nov.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, you anthromorphize your books ? :P

Anonymous said...

That should've been "anthropomorphize". Always make that mistake, blah.